No ‘Slice and Dice’ Words!

10 Jun

A pair of chickens walks up to the circulation desk at a public library and say, “Buk Buk BUK.” The librarian decides the chickens want three books, so gives them three.

Around midday, the two chickens come back, quite vexed, and say, “Buk Buk BukKOOK!” The librarian gives them another three books.

Later in the afternoon, the two chickens return, looking very annoyed, and say, “Buk Buk Buk BukKOOOOK!” Suspicious now, the librarian gives them several more books and decides to follow them.

She follows them out of the library, into a park and down to a pond. Hiding behind a tree, she gasps as the two chickens throw the books at a frog.

They cackle in fury when he says, “Rrredit. Rrredit. Rrredit.”

LOL, right?

This next paragraph is so off track from where I’m heading today, but I’m weird about weird facts. Weird, huh?

As I was looking for photos and found the one of the chicken (above), I noticed a question on a blog that was posted at the Whizbang Chicken Pluckers group. According to the blog, The Deliberate Agrarian, someone was looking for enough chicken feathers to “tar and feather” someone for a university production of “Big River.” She needed about 9,000 feathers (about two feathers per square inch of the character).  She  found on the Internet that a chicken has about 8,000 feathers. Someone actually volunteered to send him some! Can you just imagine that student who got tarred and feathered for the sake of a play?

But anyway … the opening joke about the two chickens is actually the closing joke in a humor column that Stephanie Prichard wrote for The Christian Pulse called “Jes Jokin.'” Stephanie writes a humorous grammar column for the American Christian Fiction Writers Journal and is co-authoring an adventure-suspense trilogy with her husband. But I have enjoyed her many humorous insights at The Christian Pulse.

I wrote Stephanie that I couldn’t believe the good timing of her words. I was in the middle of writing a post about humorous words ~ how they can be harmful ~ and there, in the middle of her piece were these words:

“We can hurt and be hurt when humor is used as a weapon.

“But, properly used, humor pleases God.”

You go, Girl! Totally true. In recent years, I’ve realized that joy doesn’t have to be kept inside (where some Christians say it belongs), but it can pop out in laughter, chuckling, and good, clean humor. I agree with Stephanie that “properly used, humor pleases God.” He created it, after all, along with all our other good, clean, positive  emotions.

But I, for those nasty, weapon-like words, have a different mental image.

Ever seen those commercials for Ginsu knives? The chef in the ad slices and dices everything from soup to nuts. (Bad cliche… you can’t slice and dice soup.) But it sure does cut through veggies and other food solids. The first time I saw a Ginsu demonstration, the chef cut through chicken with bones like it was butter! Then he went on to tougher and tougher items. I was amazed! A reviewers said the Ginsu Chikara Santoku knife will slice, dice and mince! The only knife you’ll need, apparently.

And that’s how I see hurtful words. Some slice. Some dice. And some even mince. But the end result is the same. Someone gets cut … hurt… maybe even devastated.

Proverbs 12:18 tells us rash words are like stabbing someone through with a sword ~ and that’s longer than a Ginsu knife! Proverbs 18:21 speaks of “death and life” being involved in what we choose to say. It is clear that nasty words are harmful. Proverbs 11:9 says it this way: “With his mouth the godless man would destroy his neighbor, but by knowledge the righteous are delivered.”

The problem, of course, is the heart (Luke 6:45b). Slander, exaggeration, lies,  gossip, flattery, and all the sinful manifestations of the tongue emanate from a foolish heart, for “out of the mouth, the heart speaks.” So we must guard our hearts (Proverbs 4:23). If we are loving, forgiving and encouraging others as the Bible instructs us ~ living for God with pure hearts ~ we will be far less likely to “cut” people with sarcasm, rudeness, anger, pride, etc.

If we are focusing on those things that are “worthy of praise” (Philippians 4:8) and things that will come out of our mouths “in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Colossians 3:15-17), can we regularly slice and dice our family and friends to pieces? James 1:26 gives a warning to believers who think they are religious, but allow their words to hurt others.

So Friends … let’s be careful. Let’s use our words to encourage, edify, and energize people, not “slice and dice them.

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